Guilt-Free Healthy Banana Bread

How to make healthy banana bread that actually tastes good! This recipe has lower sugar, healthier fats and adds whole grains. Jump to the Healthy Banana Bread Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Watch us make thee

How to Make Healthier Banana Bread

We’ve shared banana bread on Inspired Taste before and love the recipe. This healthier version takes everything we love about the original, but makes a few smart changes to make it lower in calories, sugar, and fat. Plus, we swap butter for better-for-you olive oil and add whole wheat flour.

We both love the original recipe and were determined to create a guilt-free version that stood up to it. This banana bread bakes up to be moist, dense, and delicious. [For more quick bread inspiration, take a look at our easy apple bread]

baked banana bread made with lower sugar, healthier fats and added whole grains

The first change was to add whole wheat flour. We use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. You could use 100% whole wheat, but keep in mind that the loaf will taste nuttier (not necessarily a bad thing) and will be a bit more dense. White whole wheat flour is also a great option. In fact, we use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour for our Whole Wheat Pancakes. They are so light and fluffy!

Banana bread dry ingredients

Next, we significantly reduced the sugar. In our original recipe we call for a 3/4 cup of brown sugar. This makes the bread incredibly moist and delicious, but since we were looking for healthy banana bread most of the sugar had to go! We have reduced the sugar from 3/4 cup to 1/3 cup. A major savings and your blood sugar will thank you. We also call for unrefined pure cane sugar. If you don’t have it on hand, granulated or brown sugar will work in it’s place.

Speaking of sugar, we add an extra secret ingredient to the batter — black strap molasses. Just one tablespoon packs in lots of flavor and adds a richness to the batter.

Banana bread wet ingredients

Finally, we swap melted butter for olive oil. Not only that, but we reduce the fat from 8 tablespoons to 5 tablespoons. If you use a fruity olive oil, it adds a lovely richness to the bread. It also keeps the bread dense and moist. No one wants dry banana bread, right?

And that’s it. How to make healthier banana bread that is moist and tastes great!

Slices of healthy banana bread

More Banana Recipes

Guilt-Free Healthy Banana Bread

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

This healthy banana bread stays moist and actually tastes good! This recipe has lower sugar, healthier fats, and adds whole grains. For tips on making this gluten-free or vegan, check the notes section below. A note on pan size: We use a 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan; if you only have a 9- by 5-inch pan, start checking for doneness 5 to 10 minutes earlier.

Makes 1 loaf or 12 slices

You Will Need

3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (95 grams) whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large bananas, heavily speckled or even black bananas are best, about 1 cup mashed

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or substitute melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon molasses

1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

  • Make Batter
  • Center a rack in the oven and heat to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 1/2-inch-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease. Place the loaf pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

    Whisk the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together, set aside. In the bottom of a medium bowl, mash bananas into a chunky paste. Whisk the olive oil, molasses, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the vanilla into the bananas until blended.

    Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, stirring gently until they disappear and the batter is smooth.

    • Bake Bread
    • Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake 40 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. After 30 minutes in the oven, check the bread for color. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.

      When the bread is done, transfer it, in the pan, to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the bread and place right side up on the rack. Cool completely.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Store the banana bread at room temperature up to 2 days, in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.
  • How to make healthy banana muffins: Divide the batter between muffin cups then bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Gluten-free banana bread: Use you favorite store-bought gluten-free flour blend. We are partial to Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Vegan / egg-free banana bread: Replace the eggs with flax eggs. To make 2 flax eggs, mix 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed) with 5 tablespoons water. Set it aside for about 5 minutes to thicken then use to replace the eggs in the recipe.
  • Use 100% whole wheat flour: Replace the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of whole wheat flour or use white whole wheat flour. If the batter seems too thick, thin it out with a tablespoon or so of water or milk.
  • Using less oil: 5 tablespoons of olive oil seemed just right for lowering the fat, while keeping the bread nice and moist. To reduce the fat even more, you can try replacing some or all of the oil with applesauce.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 slice / Calories 164 / Protein 3 g / Carbohydrate 24 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 10 g / Total Fat 7 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 28 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

26 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Annie Yim September 12, 2020, 12:19 am

    Can I substitute the wheat flour with oat flour? Half plain half oat flour.

    Reply
    • Joanne September 12, 2020, 11:59 am

      Hi Annie, Oat flour may work, but the texture of the bread will be quite different. I’d start with a 50-50 blend and see how it goes.

      Reply
  • Jenny Spencer July 15, 2020, 1:24 pm

    Hi Joanne! This is Raine! I love this banana bread. It is much better for you then most recipes, but it still tastes AMAZING! I used coconut sugar which is much healthier than white sugar. It was still really good. Thank you! I love your recipes! Raine 🙂

    Reply
  • Neha June 22, 2020, 5:52 am

    Tried this bread with less sugar and more bananas. Loved the taste. This was my 2nd attempt of baking something and 1st attempt of banana bread. It turned out great. Amazing taste. Thanks a lot 🙂

    Reply
  • Leila May 6, 2020, 1:08 pm

    Really really so good, I’m in love, I can have it for breakfast every single day. Thank you

    Reply

Leave a Comment/Review

Cancel reply

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:

 

Previous Post: Next Post: